Crop-raiding and Commensalism in Olive Baboons: The Costs and Benefits of Living with Humans

  • Ymke Warren
  • James P. Higham
  • Ann M. Maclarnon
  • Caroline Ross
Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR, volume 35)


We investigated the causes and consequences of crop-raiding for the ecology and life-history of two troops of olive baboons studied in Nigeria’s Gashaka Gumti National Park over 8 years. Kwano troop feeds entirely on wild foods whilst the Gamgam troop regularly consumes crops grown within its home-range. Crop-raiding provides both energetic and reproductive advantages as Gamgam troop spent less time travelling and feeding and more time resting and socialising. The crop-raiding troop has also shorter inter-birth intervals and lower infant mortality. Costs to crop-raiding due to chasing and attacks by farmers are outweighed by the benefits of increased access to high-quality foods, a reduced susceptibility to pathogen loads, and a consequently increased reproductive output.


Human-wildlife conflict Crop-raiding Food-enhancement Forest baboons 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ymke Warren
  • James P. Higham
  • Ann M. Maclarnon
  • Caroline Ross
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research in Evolutionary AnthropologyRoehampton UniversityLondonUK

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